SSSC announce major regulation changes in dealing with workforce misconduct

From 1 November 2016 the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) will change the way they regulate social service workers from a misconduct model of regulation to a fitness to practise model.

The key change is under the new model the focus will be on whether or not a worker’s fitness to practise is impaired because of their conduct, professional practice or health rather than on whether they have committed misconduct.

The SSSC say this model means they can deal more effectively with situations where the safety of people who use services is at risk, eg where the health of a worker places it at risk. They add, it’s fairer to workers as those with professional practice and health issues avoid having their behaviour labelled as being misconduct.

There will also be changes to the SSSC Codes of Practice and their registration application form.

Over the last year the SSSC consulted on the changes and on drafting the new Rules and Decisions Guidance that go along with the changes. They also consulted on the Codes of Practice to make sure that they reflect current practice. You can see the feedback from the consultation here.

How will this affect employers?

The SSSC also reviewed the situations when an employer has to make a referral. Under the new requirements, employers will refer where there is a concern that the worker’s fitness to practise may be impaired. This is different from the current requirements where employers must refer all misconduct. This will help make sure that the focus is on serious issues.

The SSSC say new referral forms and guidance will be available soon and until then you should continue to make referrals as usual.

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